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What are the uses of Psychology to People at Work?

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What are the uses of Psychology to People at Work Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes (Hilgard, 1996). An understanding of this can be a useful tool for many different groups of people in the work environment, who all have their own interests in what psychology has to offer. Such groups to benefit include managers, employees, Human Resources specialists and Trade Unions. An in depth understanding of human behavioural patterns can be applied positively in order to get the most out of people and increase productivity at work. This is achieved by reducing factors that interfere with the efficiency of peoples' work. This assignment will aim to focus on factors that are ongoing and socially aroused by the interaction between people and their environment, namely: dealing and coping with work stress; lowering the rate of bullying and harassment in the workplace; and maintaining a high level of motivation and effort both in demanding and tedious tasks. Every type of person in an organisation is susceptible to suffering from worry and stress. Stress is a challenge to a person's capacity to adapt to inner and outer demands, which may be physiologically arousing and emotionally taxing and call for cognitive and behavioural responses (Westen, 1999). ...read more.


Bullying in general in an organisation lowers the level of productivity due to its effects. A study by Niedl (1996) showed that victims of bullying in a sample of 368 Austrian Public hospital employees showed more negative well-being than non-victims. Such signs include anxiety, depression, irritation, psychosomatic complaints, loss of confidence, physical ailments and, as already discussed, stress. As with stress, there are certain character traits that belong to people more likely to be a victim of bullying. Such people are submissive, non-controversial, prefer to avoid conflict, conscientious, traditional, dependable and can also be quiet, reserved, anxious, sensitive and find coping difficult (Einarsen, 1999). By using psychological studies and being aware of these character aspects, companies can protect likely targets of bullying before they become victims. Protection can be achieved by providing these people with guidance and perhaps setting up mentoring systems. Motivation is a crucial factor to maintain in an organisation. It is the "internal psychological process of initiating, energizing, directing and maintaining goal-directed behaviour" (Buchanan & Huczynski, 1997, p68). Behaviour is influenced by motives and drives. Motives are learned and encourage ambition. They result from social values initiated by the environment. Drives are physiological and innate and are caused by deprivation. ...read more.


Variation in effort between team members is associated with feelings of unfairness, as concluded in a study by Wilke, Rutte, van Knippenberg and Ad (2000). In this study, the aversive role of a sucker was a team member with relatively high performance, who felt highly rewarded for their efforts. Results showed that financial rewards had no moderating effects on resentfulness, but high social rewards and low task rewards moderated feelings of unfairness for suckers. Therefore it is important for managers to pay attention to how much effort employees are showing, and how fairly tasks are distributed and then rewarded. An organisation's aim is to maximise efficiency and productivity in order to increase profit, doing so in a pleasant working environment. The initial appropriate selection of employees is advantageous. Recruitment managers should choose reliable and predictable people and provide them with consistent training. Through training, managers can apply psychological understanding to define the values of the individual regarding the company. The issues mentioned in this assignment are all concerned with social factors, and human interaction, both between themselves and within their environment. Evidently, the effect of human behaviour on an organisation is considerable, thus the scientific understanding of it invaluable. Psychology is therefore hugely important to people at work, and if theories are applied, problems faced can be tackled appropriately to achieve high quality results. ...read more.

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